North Carolina finally drought-free

Above average rainfall over the past few months has lifted all of North Carolina out of drought for the first time in more than two years.

The federal drought map released Thursday shows that widespread rainfall in recent weeks brought improvements throughout the state, most notably in 14 mountain counties that had been North Carolina's only area still experiencing drought.

Of 100 counties, 53, mostly in the mountains and coastal plain, remain abnormally dry.

The drought map showed that recent rainfall has created improvements statewide, with 47counties experiencing normal conditions, up from 36 counties last week. The Triangle is considered normal.

The Triangle experienced one of its most severe, protracted droughts on record from late spring 2007 through the winter 2008. Following typical rainfall last summer, successive dousings from tropical storms Fay and Hanna finally ended the Triangle's drought..